Launched by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) in December 2020, Sustain & Serve NJ has provided eligible entities with grants to support the purchase of meals from New Jersey-based restaurants that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The meals have then been distributed to families in need.
“Sustain & Serve offers a creative approach to supporting both restaurants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as those who struggle with food insecurity,” Murphy said. “This program is truly a win-win, offering aid to restaurants to keep their doors open and retain staff while helping to get much needed meals to individuals and families struggling to put food on the table.”
Through the first two phases of the program, the NJEDA awarded more than $34 million to 31 organizations across the state. Since February 2021, Sustain and Serve grantees have purchased two million meals from more than 400 participating restaurants across nearly 150 municipalities in all 21 counties. An additional 1.5 million meals are expected to be purchased between now and January 2022 using Phase 2 grants. Phase 3 funding is expected to support the purchase of an additional one million meals, bringing the total number of meals purchased and distributed to 4.5 million.
Phase 3 of Sustain & Serve NJ will make up to $10 million in American Rescue Plan funding available to organizations in New Jersey. Eligible organizations will receive grants for bulk purchases of meals from New Jersey-based restaurants. The entities will then distribute the meals at no cost.
“Through Sustain & Serve NJ, we are fueling the economic recovery of our vital restaurant industry while helping to alleviate food insecurity within our state’s communities, two top priorities for Governor Murphy as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The Governor has often called Sustain & Serve a ‘grand slam.’ I wholeheartedly agree. With today’s announcement, we look forward to getting additional funding into the hands of organizations statewide to buy even more meals in the months ahead.”
“Feedback from organizations and restaurant owners participating in Sustain & Serve NJ has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are incredibly grateful for Governor Murphy’s support of a third phase of the program,” said Tara Colton, NJEDA Executive Vice President for Economic Security. “The meals provided through Sustain and Serve NJ not only offer basic sustenance for families in need, but provide dignity and are responsive to the needs of New Jersey’s diverse communities. We are thrilled to expand a program that embodies Governor Murphy’s commitment to advancing a stronger and fairer state for all New Jerseyans.”
A list of current Sustain and Serve NJ grantees can be found here.